Where are they now? KIRBY RUNYON

  •  Author: Kirby Runyon
  •  Posted on October 05, 2017


Kirby Runyon


Where do you live?

Columbia, Maryland


What years did you quiz?



For what team/church?

Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church, Spring Arbor, Michigan


What is your occupation/vocation/passion?

I’m a research scientist in planetary geology at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. My colleagues and I study the geology of the Solar System’s planets, moons, and comets using photos and compositional data from NASA’s robotic spacecraft flung across the Solar System. We also build and operate planetary spacecraft and instruments for NASA. I’m passionate about teaching the Church about how science and Christianity go together great!

Memorable accomplishment from your quizzing years:

The spiritual fruit from having memorized all of 1st Corinthians my 11 grade year (2001).

Do you have an amusing story to share relating to your time in Bible Quizzing?

Where to begin??! I quizzed with Spring Arbor. Enough said! Getting lost in Seattle in 2001…

How has Bible Quizzing helped you become who you are today?

Most of my biblical literacy comes from having been a quizzer. It informs daily living and my relationship—both personal and corporate—with God.

What coaches or quizzing leaders had a lasting effect on your life?  How are you better for having known them?

Donna and Roy Meador. They’re my parents’ age, but they are still my dear friends.

Are you involved in quizzing today?  How might you like or be willing to be involved?

Unfortunately, no. I still see the emails, for which I’m grateful. I’ve toyed with the idea of starting it in my current church, though it’s not Free Methodist. I go to an ACNA church (Anglican Church in North America). It has a big youth group, so we could at least do “intramurals” quizzing. Church is a long drive from my house (but it’s worth it! I’m not looking for another church) and I don’t have the time with my job to commit too much time to it, but if I had help…(prayer request!)

What is a verse/Scripture that has stuck with you?

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times having all that you need, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Cor. 9:8

And, still memorized from 7th grade (1997—20 years ago! Yikes!) “Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds…” James 1:something.

Paul being grammatically ridiculous but theologically profound, “For I do what I do not want to do, and what I hate I do. If I do what I do-be-do-be-do-wop-bop-waka-waka-wa-wa…”Romans (just kidding)

Word to the Wise – any advice for our current quizzers?   What do you wish you had been told back then?

So, confession time: I’m really not a competitive person. I don’t feel a desire to win and I don’t care if I lose at games, and the same was somewhat true in quizzing. If any current quizzer (or her/his coach) is similar, the value of memorizing Scripture is still profound. I’m big into understanding Trinitarian theology as a full expression of God’s divine nature of love. I’ve noticed how Paul often refers to God the Holy Spirit as “the Holy Spirit of Jesus” or “Jesus’ Spirit.” Paul goes back and forth between talking about Jesus and the Spirit—since they’re both fully God anyway, that makes sense, but his emphasis of two of these persons of the Godhead is interesting. Friends, know this: recognize the power of the Holy Spirit in your life and know that you can’t live a righteous life without Him manifesting his power in you. Don’t feel guilty about that. Relax. You can’t not sin without Him. But all you have to do is ask and have believe—even just a tiny amount—that He’ll start to work that power in you. And, regularly—multiple times a day—confess to God that you screwed up (sinned) and ask for forgiveness (yet again!) and the grace to have a humble and penitent spirit. Have a sin you can’t shake? Ask him to give you new desires for right living (aka righteousness) and that sin will essentially go away on its own. Don’t focus on not sinning. Focus on living righteously (seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness).  And remember from James 5: The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Find a few good Christian friends and share struggles and sins with each other every so often. Then, combining James 5 with Jesus’ promise that where 2 or 3 are gathered in his name, his Holy Spirit will be in the midst of them, pray for each other. I’ve been supernaturally healed of an addictive sin in this manner.